GREETING OF JOHN PAUL II
Saturday, 3 May 1997
It gives me great pleasure to welcome to the Vatican the Permanent International Ecumenical Consultation of Religious, representing religious communities from the various Christian Churches and Ecclesial Communities. "Grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ" (Rom 1:7).
Your group seeks to play a very specific role in the ecumenical movement. Christians always need to hear anew "the message of reconciliation" which has been entrusted to us in the Gospel (2 Cor 5:19). But our efforts are often obscured by our divisions. Your special contribution is to bear witness to discipleship as expressed in common life in the Spirit, whereby you strive to live according to the supreme evangelical law of love in fraternal communion with others. Thus, while recognizing differences, you lay stress on the bond which above all others is capable of building the unity of the one body of Christ, the Church.
It is my hope and prayer that your efforts will bear much fruit, especially your attention to the value for ecumenism of the consecrated life as a path of Christian formation, conversion and transformation. May God bless your endeavours, and may he abundantly pour out upon you his spiritual gifts
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